Tag Archives: bacon

penne with peas and bacon

penne with peas and bacon via dragitthroughthegarden.wordpress.comBasically, I love pasta. Pretty much any kind of pasta. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner pasta.

Well, maybe not breakfast, but you know what I mean, right? And bacon… who doesn’t love bacon? Put it together with some crispy peas and parmesan (and butter). Golden.

I was trying to think of something witty to write on here. Some weird story that had a hint of humor. But then I realized that I pretty much don’t do anything all day. Well, besides go to class or lab, eat, sleep, and watch TV.

I come to the realization that my life really is not that interesting a lot. Generally it’s during those moments when I think I am really funny and that I could have a TV show based on my life… something Kardashian-esque (admit it… you’ve thought the same thing about yourself!). But, then I realize most people probably don’t want to watch me in class all day or doing homework or pipetting chemicals into beakers.

I will admit that there are definitely times when I am the first one to laugh at my jokes. And sometimes the only person to laugh at my jokes.

But, hey, as long as I’m bringing a smile to someone’s face, even it is my own, I don’t mind. And sometimes a little bit of lightness is all you need to get through the day.

penne with peas and bacon

Makes 2-3 Servings

Ingredients:
½ lb. penne
4 slices bacon, sliced
¾ cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Add pasta to salted boiling water and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly crisp around the edges. Increase heat to medium-high. Add in peas and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until peas are heated through and beginning to crisp a little, about 5 minutes. Add in butter.

Toss bacon and pea mixture with pasta and Parmesan. Serve with additional Parmesan, if desired.

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brown sugar bacon-wrapped smokies

brown sugar bacon-wrapped smokies | drag it through the gardenNo, I did not know the Superbowl was this coming Sunday until I heard someone behind me talking about it at the hockey game. And everyone starting posting Superbowl food on their blogs and Pinterest. That was kind of a not-so-subtle hint.

So, you might think I took some initiative and made these delicious bacon-wrapped brown sugar smokies to post on here especially for the Superbowl. Suuureee I did! Except they might have been made a few days post-Christmas and I just never got around to putting them on here. You decide.

On another note, I am really, really sorry that I have not been responding to any comments. I promise that I am reading them! As I’m sure you have heard from me a bajillion times before, my life is pretty hectic right now. Whoever said last semester senior year is the easiest is a flat-out liar. I feel like this is the busiest I have ever been.

It does not help that there are all these TV shows that I want to watch instead of doing homework. Well, there are plenty of things I would rather do than homework.

Like eat these sweet and savory smokies. That’s not a bad idea!

brown sugar bacon-wrapped smokies

Makes 1 pound

Ingredients:
16 oz. smokies
about 12 oz. bacon, cut into thirds
¾ cup brown sugar
toothpicks

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and do it well. If you don’t, you’ll have a not-so-fun pan to clean… if you can get it clean!

Take a smokie, wrap it in a piece of bacon, and stick a toothpick in it to hold in place. Place on prepared pan. Repeat until all smokies are wrapped. Sprinkle with brown sugar and toss until even coated.

Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place pan in preheated oven. Bake for 50 minutes, until bacon is slightly crisp and sugar is bubbling.

campanelle with green beans and bacon

campanelle with green beans and bacon | drag it through the garden

Seeing as though it’s officially the New Year, I have one very important question.

How long is it going to take me to remember to write “2013” on the date line for papers and homework instead of “2012”?

Oh, yeah… and how much do I have to beg you to try this pasta?

Not like “eat your Brussels sprouts” begging. More like I have about 1,000 pins of recipes on Pinterest and have only tried a handful begging.

But seriously, try this pasta. It’s super easy and it’s super yummy. Pasta with green beans? It may sound a bit strange (it did to me at first, too). But they’re all sweet and the bacon is doing its savory thing and the pasta is, well… carb-y (and if you know me, you know I have a mild obsession with carbohydrates).

And the leftovers? Yeah, they’re even better.

campanelle with green beans and bacon

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 lb. campanelle (or any other pasta you prefer)
6 slices bacon, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 lb. green beans, ends trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut up into pieces
3/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving

Drop pasta into boiling, salted water. Cook to al dente according to package directions, about 11 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, add bacon to a cold skillet. Turn heat to medium. Once bacon begins to sizzle, add in garlic cloves. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until bacon is slightly chewy and browned around the edges. Add in green beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 4-6 more minutes. Remove garlic cloves. Reduce heat to low. Stir in butter and parmesan. Toss with drained pasta and sprinkle additional grated parmesan, if desired. If needed, add in some of the water the pasta cooked in to loosen up the sauce a bit.

Source: Fine Cooking

haricot verts with honeyed pecans, blue cheese, and bacon

I think I should probably start this post off by telling you how much I love haricot verts and how much I love pecans and the combination of the two just make everything better.

That’s not the complete truth though. Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of green beans (besides the canned French-cut ones that hardly even resemble green beans). I don’t really even care for pecans that much… or any type of nut besides pistachios.

But, I do love bacon and blue cheese. I mean, who doesn’t?

My taste preferences aside, I do actually like this dish. Every flavor inside is pretty strong, but no one flavor overpowers the other. The honey also adds a nice touch of sweetness to the haricot verts.

And if you need complete approval of this dish from someone who actually likes to eat haricot verts and pecans, just ask my family. It’s a pretty good sign when all the veggies are gone at the end of dinner…

In other news, I went to a nearby craft store yesterday to pick up some supplies so I could venture into cake-pop-making. Anyhow, on my way back home…

…BOOM…

I was rear-ended. My very, very first accident. I suppose at least it wasn’t my fault and I wasn’t hurt or anything. My car is drivable, but definitely needs some repairs sometime soon.

All in the name of cake pops.

Haricot Verts with Honeyed Pecans, Blue Cheese, and Bacon

Makes 6 Servings

Ingredients:
4 slices thick-sliced bacon (or 6 slices regular bacon)
1 pound haricot verts, ends trimmed
¾ cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon honey
4 ounces blue cheese (I used Stilton)

In a large frying pan, add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove to a paper towel. Once cool enough to handle, break up into pieces.

Add haricot verts to bacon grease on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, toast pecans in a medium non-stick pan over medium high heat. Once the pecans have a bit of color on them, add honey and toss until evenly coated. Leave on heat for 2 more minutes, tossing frequently. Add to pot with haricot verts along with crumbled bacon.

Once haricot verts are tender, remove to a serving dish. Crumble blue cheese on top and serve.

Source: Adapted from Claire Robinson 

blue cheese and balsamic leek crostini

I love these crostini, but that’s probably because I am obsessed with easy and elegant dishes for entertaining (way to alliterate, huh?)… not to mention a trio of three strong flavors that all play off each other perfectly: blue cheese, balsamic vinegar, and bacon. This appetizer only takes about 30 minutes to make. But, most of those 30 minutes, you don’t even need to fuss over anything.

I don’t often cook or eat appetizers at home. But, that trio I mentioned earlier is sure to persuade me to make these delicious bites again sometime very soon. I hope it persuades you too!

Blue Cheese and Balsamic Leek Crostini

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 4 servings as an appetizer; 2 as an entrée

Ingredients:

3 medium leeks, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into ¼ inch pieces crosswise
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 oz. blue cheese (I used an extra creamy Danish blue cheese)
12 1/2-inch thick baguette slices (that’s  half of a regular sized baguette or a full demi baguette), or 6 slices larger bread (like sourdough)
2 oz. bacon, cooked and drained

Add cut leeks to a large bowl and fill with water. Swish the leeks around for a bit and make sure all are clean. Remove leeks from water (DO NOT DRAIN IN A COLANDER! All of the sand from the inside is on the bottom of the bowl… just pull out the leeks with your hands.) and place on a plate.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add olive oil. Add leeks (you do not need to dry them before this step) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir to coat leeks in butter. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes, until softened.

Remove lid and add balsamic vinegar. Increase heat to medium low. Cook for 15 more minutes.

Meanwhile, toast bread until golden brown under a broiler. Spread hot bread with a small amount of blue cheese. Once leeks are done, top cheesy bread with a dollop of the leeks. Sprinkle with crispy bacon. Serve warm.

 

spaghetti all’amatriciana

There have been exactly three times my entire life when I have ordered an entrée at an Italian restaurant that was not pasta. Seriously. The first time was chicken spiedini. Then, it was veal saltimbocca. The last time was pork osso bucco. While all three meals were very good, I found myself wishing I had ordered some type of pasta instead.

It used to be that pasta was a staple around my house. And then, my family turned into carb-conscious health nuts. Well, my entire family besides me. But, as I’m known to do, I started having pasta withdrawals. So, here’s my fix: spaghetti all’amatriciana. Sounds kind of fancy, right? And fancy foods are usually difficult to make, right? Wrong. This dish is super easy to pull together on a busy weeknight, but it’s nice enough to make your weekend meal, too!

(This whole fancy name dilemma got me thinking. Have you ever noticed how restaurants can charge so much more money when the name sounds more gourmet… or is in a different language all together? Would you spend more money on French toast or Pain Perdu? How about Spaghetti All’Amatriciana or Spaghetti with Pancetta, Tomatoes, and Onions?)

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 6 Servings

Ingredients:

6 oz. pancetta or bacon, sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes in juice
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. spaghetti or bucatini
½ c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano (2 oz.)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Bring a large skillet to medium heat. Add pancetta (or bacon) and cook until crisp, about 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towels to drain. Do not remove grease from skillet. (There should be about 2 tbsp. grease remaining. If there is not, add olive oil until there is a total of 2 tbsp. fat in the pan).

Add onion and garlic to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and garlic is golden brown.

At this point, you can add your pasta into the boiling water. Drain after about 9 minutes, until pasta is al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, add canned tomatoes and red pepper flakes to skillet. Break tomatoes up a bit in the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to thicken.. Add pasta to the skillet and toss. If needed, add reserved pasta water to loosen the pasta up a bit and allow the sauce to adhere better.

Top pasta with reserved pancetta (or bacon) and grated cheese.